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Robert Cornegy Certified As City Council Victor in Central Brooklyn Race

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 28, 2013 11:12am
 Robert Cornegy supporters celebrated on election night, despite the 36th City Council race being too close to call.
Robert Cornegy supporters celebrated on election night, despite the 36th City Council race being too close to call.
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DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — After 17 days of waiting, the city has finally certified a winner in the race to replace City Councilman Albert Vann.

District Leader Robert Cornegy Jr. edged out a victory over Kirsten John Foy by a razor-thin 68-vote margin, according to tallies released by the Board of Elections on Friday night, the closest race in the city.

Cornegy, who was endorsed by Vann and other central Brooklyn politicians, totalled 4,370 votes, while Foy received 4,302, according to BOE records.

The 56th assembly district leader said he was "humbled, excited and moved" in a Friday night Facebook post.

Initial results from election night were too close to call, with Cornegy and Foy separated by just 94 votes before paper ballots were counted. 

In a race defined in part by personal attacks and heated rhetoric, much of the post-election focus was on alleged problems with the BOE by the Foy campaign, who was initially wary after a plethora of reported poll problems.

Foy said that even he and his wife were forced to fill out emergency ballots at their polling station, later alleging that the candidate and his wife's ballots were lost twice.

"Every vote should be counted," Foy said at his campaign office the morning after the election. "The sanctity of the vote needs to be protected."

After paper ballots were counted last week, the 68-vote margin triggered a mandatory recount, BOE officials said. The recount returned the same margin of victory.

The Foy campaign alleged on Friday that "more than 1,000" paper ballots were thrown out by the BOE, and that they were not yet conceding the election.

"It is an indisputable fact that Kirsten won the paper ballots and that as more paper ballots were counted, the margin narrowed," spokeswoman Tyquana Henderson-Parsons said in a prepared statement. "We are exploring our options to address the irregularities and ensure all eligible voters have their votes counted, and will make a decision about how best to do that by Monday.”

The Board of Elections did not comment on the election results Friday afternoon.